Corporations Are Anti-Democratic

Or at the very least, profits come above democracy and its values for almost half of the Fortune 500 companies, who contributed more than $14 million to the 147 congressional Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 election results. The five largest defense companies — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics — contributed a total of nearly $2 million to Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results, and that doesn’t include contributions to so-called Super PACs that can fund independent campaigns for or against issues or individual candidates.

After brief “pauses” in contributions, by early 2022, the political arms of these corporations were back in business supporting those Republicans, because they need those government contracts, which is something I don’t quite understand, given that, in many cases, there’s almost no one else who could develop and build those expensive defense procurements.

Corporate donors and billionaires have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Political Action Committees theoretically not affiliated with any political party or candidate, but that’s a legal fiction. The PACs spending millions of dollars and running night-and-day attack ads here in Utah against the independent candidate for Senate [Evan McMullin] while endorsing the far-right incumbent [Mike Lee] might as well be called GOP auxiliaries.

Add to that the fact that such PACs can spend millions on advertising pushing blatant misstatements and outright lies. In McMullin’s case, he’s actually a moderate Republican and member of the LDS faith who’s anti-abortion – but the PACs portray him as ultra-liberal and pro-abortion because he said he voted for Biden over Trump.

In just the mid-term elections, oil and gas industry Super PACs have poured over $300 million into ads supporting Republican candidates to the House and Senate. Eight Republican billionaires, all with ties to corporate, finance, or tech industries, have poured nearly $400 million into supporting Republican candidates.

At the current pace of spending, campaign spending for the mid-term elections will exceed $9 billion, the vast majority of that money coming from Super PACs.

Why all that spending? Because profits come before people or the national interests…and they’ll continue to do so as long as corporations and billionaires can spend unlimited amounts on their so-called unaffiliated campaigns.

8 thoughts on “Corporations Are Anti-Democratic”

  1. R. Hamilton says:

    “profits come above democracy” then that goes both ways, such as with the corporations and other organizations that have supported Democrats more and/or enabled Democratic talking points to be used as if they were an authority for fact-checking, when in fact BOTH/ANY party talking points should be subject to severe scrutiny.

    Here’s something from an outlet that is certainly NOT an RNC affiliate:

    and this from a non-profit that claims to be independent and nonpartisan:

    If a non-person legal entity (a corporation) has a way to make their interests known, they’ll do it. Do we really need to agree with what particular interests they express? And since when is a Congressperson VOTING either way on anything anti-democratic (small “d”!)?

    Individuals can petition, so I don’t see it reasonable for corporations to be silent, although I’m far from agreeing with all they say, and I’d CERTAINLY prefer that celebrities (in their capacity as personal businesses) with high visibility and zero expertise and little enough obvious direct personal involvement in issues keep their politics very distant from their professional platform; awards shows for example have become an unwatchable indulgence in who can advocate causes having nothing to do with acting, singing, etc – and just plain disorderly behavior, as one incident showed. In my view, a reasonable reluctance to inflame or profit from controversy would be a prudent position for most businesses AND celebrities, since they will probably have customers (and future administrations if they’re contractors) of both+other parties. But no, the “any publicity is good publicity” view seems to dominate, so too many are willing to treat opportunities for divisive controversy as if it were a “leaked” sex tape with which to expand their business or at least their networking among those who find such expressions fashionable.

    Not calling for any censorship BTW, but more transparency would be nice, and as elsewhere there are VAST opportunities for voluntary self-restraint. 🙂

    1. All of your observations ignore one basic point. The corporations/conservative billionaires can and do marshal far more resources than do those who are moderate or liberal AND they represent only a fraction of the population.

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        I’m having trouble finding corporate numbers that support your claim that the conservatives are more heavily supported (let alone “far more”), but for billionaires it looks to be a mixed bag:

        The chart and notes at the bottom of the page are particularly what I have in mind; aside from some Presidential elections, it looks close most of the time, and occasionally the non-conservative side even gets a bit more.

        I would not regard the differences as vast…and my concerns with political donations are only that they be of domestic origin and very transparent. The Supreme Court has apparently said that donations ARE speech, so we have to live with it, even if reasonable people might suppose that the incredibly disproportionate monetary speech by a few (of either party) is not beneficial to liberty.

  2. Ariel Laidlaw says:

    I agree that corporations are not democratic, some of my favourite fiction is about when our corporate overlords takeover. Lobbying in America is kind of scary, I would recommend reading Earl Fry’s Lament for America, it’s from 2012 and talks about lots of politic issues with a monetary perspective and is solution oriented. How corporate lobbying works in the USA is not in public interest at all. How lobbying in the USA increases inequality and in the USA it’s out of control. High inequality = political unrest. Also as far as political campaigning, the money your talking about is what gets you elected. You can Google the adjusted net worth for USA presidents almost all of them were millionaires or billionaires before being elected.

    1. Only one U.S. President has been a billionaire, and that was Trump. George Washington was the next wealthiest, at an adjusted $700 million. Roughly 20% were worth much less than a million dollars. The remaining 30 odd presidents were in the low multi-million dollar range.

  3. Tom says:

    “CORPORATIONS ARE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC” (Profits come above Democracy). One wonders how come all those clever CEO’s and Investor infested Corporation Boards think that Autocracies are easier to manage than Democracies.

    Doing away with voting by taking control of the outcomes as Trump and now Musk desire gives one added control and thus power but the resultant responsibility will be running autocratic nations or at least international-corporations. Not so easy according to The Economist:

    Facebook and the conglomerate curse.
    Beset by bloating and egomania, big tech would benefit from active boards and investors.
    Nov 3rd 2022, The Economist.
    What big tech and buy-out barons have in common with GE.
    Unaccountable bosses, declining returns on capital and fed-up investors.
    Nov 3rd 2022, The Economist.

    Willie Sutton said he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is”. Note he robbed banks he did not try to run banks! Being part of an Autocracy can do away with the need to pay attention to legislated laws but these will inevitably be replaced by more dangerous Mafioso-like “natural” laws. Trump and Musk forget that they are unlikely to be the ones walking around the room with a baseball bat at the corporation board meetings.

    Losing a democratic election is bad for the ego but losing a board seat in an Autocracy (with a Constitutional Second Amendment) can be dangerous to one’s health.
    (No threat – I don’t carry a gun and at my age my fists are not what they used to be.)

  4. R. Hamilton says:

    Political spending doesn’t always work out as intended.

    Karma is a [word for female dog] – regardless of the outcome one hopes for, meddling in someone else’s game is not good form. Kind of applies to money crossing state lines for any state associated office (including federal House and Senate from that state) too. Someone resident in a state, or a business or nonprofit with a physical presence or services provided in a state, has reason to speak politics with money, but otherwise it looks like another kind of meddling to me, and meddling is what I would WISH we were electing people NOT to do.

  5. KTL says:

    Interesting exchange here. I’ve seen the usual discussion of who is giving all the money toward politics and ploitical races. However, I’ve not seen much on the myriad interests RECEIVING all that money. Off the top of my head, initial recipients appear to be advertising firms and media. These same interests might be conflicted against running stories hostile to big money in politics.

    Thoughts and links form others who might have thought of the money stream in this way?

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